*This story was featured in the July 9th edition of the Hastings Tribune.
The annual Adams County 4-H Fashion show produced a packed house Wednesday night at the Adams County Fairgrounds.
The show, which involves girls of all ages, provides opportuni- ties for them to spark up their wardrobe, learn helpful life skills and have fun in the process.
The show featured girls of all ages, modeling and showcasing their original pieces of work. This process, of designing original pieces of clothing, takes months of work and preparation before the show.
“Our 4-H kids normally start sewing early in the year, around January and February. They choose their projects and start working toward a finished prod- uct,” said Julie Ochsner, a county 4-H extension assistant. “They progress over the months. They start with the very basics and progress to more challenging pieces.”
The 4-Hers were able to work and create pieces in a variety of dif- ferent categories, including Modeling for Fun, Recycling, Make One, Buy One, Beyond the Needle, Shopping in Style, Attention Shoppers and Bed Turning.
In between outfit modeling, participants were able to show- case their sewing skills through the art of “Bed Turning” or quilt making. Five 4-Hers showcased original quilt designs, which will be donated to a wounded veterans project.
Despite all the hard work required for such an event, it’s about more than just wearing clothes and walking down a run- way.
“I met a lot of new girls and made friends during the event,” said 4-Her Haley Griswold. “I’ve also learned how to sew and how to feel confident when modeling the clothes and outfits I made.”
The outfits made for the event often come in handy for the par- ticipants. “Most of the girls will wear the clothes to school or spe- cial events,” Oschner said. “They pick the pattern or fabric out, make the outfits out of that and wear their outfits throughout the year.”
The girls were judged by a panel and awarded ribbons and plaques, or in some cases, the opportunity to sport their origi- nal designs at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island.
Many of the 4-Hers were proud of the product they pro- duced for the show. “This year, the coolest thing I made was the galaxy outfit. I made a shirt, shorts and shoes that were galaxy colored,” Griswold said.“It turned out really cool.” The event is something that members of the 4-H program hope will continue to grow.
“I think this event is a great opportunity for youth to learn how to sew,” Oschner said. “It’s a lost art nowadays and I’d really like to see the sewing program grow.”